About Raw Cuisine
Raw foods are naturally or wild grown, organically and sustainably raised plant-based foods that haven’t been altered from their original state. While we may blend, chop, mix or dehydrate raw foods, we never alter the integrity with heat above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to ensure that when we eat raw foods, we are getting all the nutrients, minerals and enzymes inherent in the food themselves. Raw means unprocessed, unrefined and untreated.
The Three Raw Food Groups
The three main raw food groups are fresh fruits, vegetables (particularly leafy greens) and natural fats, such as avocados, nuts and seeds. This doesn’t mean that 100% of your food must come from these three groups in order to consider yourself raw. You might eat other foods, such as sprouted grains or nutritious cooked foods such as quinoa. But it does mean that a majority of your food comes from the groups below.
Fruits: Fruits are very good for waste elimination and are highly alkalizing. Best of all, they have the highest percent of vitamins per calorie of any class of food. When you eat fruit, you get an instant message from your brain that your blood sugar levels are rising, which helps regulate appetite so that you know when to stop eating. Eating fruit also reduces cravings for sweets after meals. Although fruit-induced blood sugar swings are a concern for some people, these can usually be alleviated by avoiding fruit juice and dried fruits. Adding fresh greens (such as romaine lettuce, celery, kale or parsley) to your fruit smoothies can also cut the sugar content.
Vegetables: Leafy green vegetables have the highest percentage of minerals per calorie of any class of foods. What most people don’t realize is that leafy greens are also high in protein. Most people, including raw food enthusiasts, don’t eat enough greens in their diets. Chimpanzees chew on greens all day, but that isn’t practical for most humans. However, certain raw food techniques can make getting enough greens easy and delicious.
In salads, emphasize the easy-to-digest greens, such as lettuce, celery, cucumbers and green, leafy sprouts. You can chop everything really fine to make salads easy to chew. Dark greens and cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, collards, cabbage and broccoli, are packed with nutrition, so make sure they make it on your shopping list.
Natural Fats: Nuts and seeds contain good fats as well as some protein (seeds are higher in protein than nuts). Fatty fruits and their oils, such as avocados and olives, are also rich in good fats. Most nuts are acid forming, so use in moderation and combine with plenty of alkalizing greens or vegetables. For increased digestibility, soak your nuts and seeds overnight before using.
A raw diet also includes many superfoods such as maca, bee pollen, spirulina, blue-green algae, goji berries, cacao, hempseeds and aloe vera. For more information on ingredients, visit our raw recipe section.